By Rushdie Oudia
Kisumu, Kenya: Tenants of council houses, matatu operators and real estate developers are among those who will cough higher fees when Kisumu County Finance Bill 2013/2014 takes effect.
Residents living in county houses have seen their rents doubled in the bill that was passed by the assembly two months ago.
The estates are Lumumba, Ondiek, Arina, Kibuye, Argwings Kodhek and Makasembo.
Members of County Assembly noted it was unfair for tenants in county houses to pay rent of Sh2,000 yet they sub-let the premises and charge exorbitant rates. Rates for Oile and Jubilee markets were also increased by 30 per cent from Sh450 to Sh585. Bus park services at car wash, Kondele, Manyatta, Bus Park taxis, Mamboleo, Nyamasaria, Kibos, Nyalenda, Bandani, Otonglo and Nyahera termini were increased. Monthly season stickers of categories one to seven seat vehicles will now cost Sh1,800, up from Sh1,200 and above 26 seats from Sh7,200 to Sh10,800.
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- 2 City families, traders to pay more to finance Sh37b budget
- 3 KRA appoints a new Commissioner of Domestic Taxes
- 4 Higher fuel taxes haunt consumers at the pump
Construction rates were also increased by more than 100 per cent.
For house plans, the minimum architectural charge for buildings below 46 square metres rose from Sh1,800 to Sh3,600.
The highest, which is for 867 square metres but not exceeding 930 rose from Sh14,000 to Sh28,000, a double from the original figure.
Minimum charges for structural fees for residential houses doubled from Sh1,200 to Sh2,400 while the highest was that which does not exceed 930 square metres shot up to Sh36,000 from Sh13,000.
Occupation certificate fees were also doubled while county government maintained the old rates for renewal fees.
Kisumu County Governor Jack Ranguma, however, downplayed uproar over the rates, claiming they were necessary to correct a bad history in the county.
Ranguma said the first step was doubling various fees and subsequently deploy other measures since many current rates were not viable.
He said new rates in building construction sector were ‘very small’, arguing that evaluating a charge entails the value of that property and if the value of properties was taken into consideration, the developers would even pay more.
Kisumu East MP Shakeel Shabbir welcomed the move to increase council house rents but said the county government is robbing the poor and satisfying the rich.
“If I were the governor, I would have doubled rates for the rich and cushion the poor, especially businesspersons at Oile and Kibuye markets,” said Shabbir. Patients visiting private hospitals are likely to pay more due to the increase in licence fees.